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New Feminist Dracula

Many and varied are the stage adaptations of Bram Stoker‘s famous novel. Most famous of course is the Balderston-Deane version that brought stardom to Bela Lugosi, Ted Miller’s Count Dracula, the Frank Wildhorn musical (perhaps most famously done in Japan with a female Count), even Orson Wells’ radio adaptation. Theatre 68 (which produces works for…

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Let’s Scare Jessica to Death

Stephen King put it on his list of top horror movies. It has certainly achieved the status of cult film. Methinks it deserves much more. “Lets Scare Jessica to Death” (1971) captures an atmosphere of dreamlike yet naturalistic horror rarely seen outside maybe “Picnic at Hanging Rock.” John D. Hancock directed and co-wrote the film,…

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Varney the Vampyre, or the Feast of Blood

A lot more people have heard or read about “Varney The Vampyre, or The Feast of Blood” than have actually read it. Easy to understand, really. The thing comes to over two hundred meandering chapters, written in a style florid and over the top even by Victorian standards! Here is an example: It is now…

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The Curious Case of Jonathan Harker

Bram Stoker seems like a such a conservative. He pursued a career as a government clerk until a better opportunity in entertainment presented itself. As manager of a hugely successful actor and theatre, he and his primly beautiful wife reveled as they walked amid high society. His novels abound with staunchly Victorian ideas and prejudices….

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The Very Many Faces of Mina Murray

Adaptations of Bram Stoker’s most famous novel often reveal more about the adapters — and about their times — than they do about Stoker or his work. Case in point: Mina Harker, nee Murray. Looking at the novel itself, we find a character who seems very much a yin to her best friend Lucy Westenra‘s…

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Why Lesbian Vampires?

For all practical purposes, the trope Vampire Lesbian emerged with Joseph Sheridan LeFanu’s novella “Carmilla.” Eventually, with the rise of a new medium–motion pictures–an adaptation of that story appeared. “Crypt of the Vampire” became one of the still-relatively few such. The trope, however, could be seen in “Dracula’s Daughter” as well as the eerie “Vampyr.”…

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What to do with Dracula?

Draculas have begun to feel like a dime a dozen. Starting with the milestone silent film “Nosferatu” (i.e. skeletal, rat-fanged, pointy-eared) we’ve seen Eastern European versions, Spanish ones, porn Draculas, English Draculas, at least one female Dracula, effete Draculas, etc. We’ve seen the world’s most famous Transylvanian as suave, brutal, silent, wordy, young, old, Byronic,…

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Vampire Fashion

Vampires….they seem to be all around us today. Our popular culture is soaking them in like a sponge; movies, TV, books, music, decor and not at all surprising, Fashion. The brilliant minds behind the Australian fashion house Saint Augustine Academy, recently debuted a True Blood Vampire inspired clothing line at the Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. Filled…

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Vampires in Literature

In fiction of course, the epidemy of vampire literature, would be Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. There were sexual undertones, of course, relaying vampirism to be a sort of sexually transmitted disease. Its themes of blood, death, and sex made it’s way to Victorian Europe, rattled because of the spread of tuberculosis and syphilis. But the vampire…

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